Jun. 16, 2023

WARREN — Rep. Kathy L. Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest), Republican chair of the House Health Committee, announced the committee reported out eight bills this week. One of those measures is a bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill) to hold tobacco manufacturers accountable for a 2018 settlement with the Commonwealth. 

House Bill 1209, along with House Bill 1407, amend the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Act (Act 54 of 2000) and the Tobacco Product Manufacturer Directory Act (Act 64 of 2003) to do the following:

Enable the Commonwealth to ensure the deposit of the required escrow payment on contraband cigarettes produced by non-participating manufacturers.
Improve the enforcement of the existing escrow deposit requirements for non-participating manufacturers by requiring them to post a surety bond, which is necessary to protect against the non-participating manufacturers’ failure to make the required escrow payments under Act 54 of 2000.
Establish that importers have joint and several liability with manufacturers to comply with the requirements of Act 54 of 2000 and Act 64 of 2003.
Provide for the exchange of information between the states, the participating manufacturers, and the data clearinghouse under Act 64 of 2003, which is necessary for all parties to the 2018 agreement to ensure compliance.

In addition to passing these two bills, the House Health Committee reported out six other bills.

House Bill 78 establishes the Medical Debt Relief Program, a debt repayment program for hospital-based financial assistance.

House Bill 807 creates partnerships between the Department of Health and medical providers to educate women on the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.

House Bills 817 and 818 would encourage and recommend the Commonwealth’s pharmacies to establish collection sites for controlled substances, better known as drug take-back programs. They would also cover costs incurred by the pharmacies to set up the collection sites.

House Bill 1351 would update the Pennsylvania Rural Health Redesign Center Authority (RHRCA) Act, which works to financially stabilize rural hospitals and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.

Senate Bill 262 would require the Department of Health to report maternal morbidity data using hospital discharge information that is obtained by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

These eight measures now head to the full House for consideration.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jake Gillespie
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp